Monday, July 14, 2008

Enquiring Minds Want to Know: How do you bust stress??

Isn't summer supposed to be a lazy time to kick back, relax and enjoy the sunbeams?
Yeah, well... I'm doing something seriously wrong because I've been in frantic mode since mid-June.

I had a nice long chat with my TRW (Toronto Romance Writers) buddy Christine d'Abo over dinner the other night and she's in a very stressful place as well, for different reasons. I've got ten years on Christine so tried to share some of my own experiences in handling stress in the workplace, which is ironic since she's already much better equiped to handle it than I was ten years ago!! Also, I've gotten myself into my own personal stress-rut so who'm I to dole out advice?

So give it to me people... WHAT DO YOU DO when feeling overwhelmed, can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, or find yourself in circumstances that you don't have the power to change? Other than self-medicate, I mean ;)

I used to loose myself in a good book, but I just can't find the time to crack a novel, let alone Christine's latest release (The Bond that Heals Us, second in the Bond series... so freaking good!!) and even THAT'S stressing me out!! What the heck kind of supportive sistah-friend am I that I can't find three or four hours to jump into the Davin/Sara story that I had been chomping at the bit for?! *bows head in shame*

On a sort of related topic, Leah Braemel brought up the subject of writing and hobbies on her blog today, so go visit and share your thoughts.


Jane said...

What's wrong with self-medication? It works. Maybe some pampering will help. I think a massage followed by a mani-pedi.

Wylie Kinson said...

Hi Jane -- yes, self-medicating works! It's the after-effects we're not so fond of *G*

A mani-pedi sounds like a DREAM, but it's a time thing... or lack-thereof. If only spas had daycare. Why don't they, anyway?? Entrepeneurs, are you listening? Think of the business you'd get. Every mother within 100 miles would come for 1/2 Days of Beauty :)
(all-day if meals were included LOL)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Metallica. The louder, the better.

And/or a bike ride. But it's hard to write when on a bike, but you can easily turn the Met on (and up) at any point during the day.

Shelley Munro said...

When I'm really stressed I write lists. This makes me prioritize and I can tick things off as they're finished, which stops the overwhelmed feeling. I can control it because it's on the list, and I can see the progress. That's my theory anyway!

I think it's really important to take time out and go for a walk or exercise. Use the Wii fitness thingy. Half an hour of exercise and fresh air really makes all the difference.

And Wylie, as for the reading thing. I'm miles behind. I haven't read quite a few of my writing buddys' book. I figure that's what holidays are for.

Wylie Kinson said...

Shelley - I used to be a list maker but somehow fell out of the habit. And you're quite right... it's a mental lift to be able to check off an item. Think I'll go back to those again... and the bonus? I can PUT THE LIST ON MY NEW iPHONE!!!! :D

Susan - I dunno... I'm thinking only Shapeshifter music should play THAT loud ;)

Anonymous said...

This one is easier for me because I can take a weekend off with no kiddies at home. I do think exercise helps. As difficult as it is to get in shape (and believe me I'm there) I feel like a new person in the process.

Debra Glass said...

A hot bath and a glass of wine always work for me!
And have you tried meditating? You can do it in 5 - 10 minutes effectively. Just sit, close your eyes, feel your connection to the Universe and focus on breathing evenly and relaxing your body from your toes up.

Wylie Kinson said...

Kristy, and Shelley -- I think you're absolutely right about the exercise thing. It's just DOING it that I'm against *snicker* ... but seriously, it's something I'm determined to begin, right after I get a few of the more pressing projects of my overloaded plate. Fresh air, gardening, walking... it's GOT to happen!!

Debra -- I HAVE tried meditating but I SUCK. My mind just races and I'm restless and I can't find a calm happy place. I know, I know, practice... :)

Amy Ruttan said...

Hmmm, I watch movies. Comedic movies that I love. Listen to music, sometimes I read, but really that's getting harder to do.

That's what I do to destress.

Sorry it's not more helpful.

I have a hard time de-stressing too.

Leah Braemel said...

I'm sorta with Debra on this one - long hot soaks in a tub with a good book. BUT it doesn't work so well in the summer heat. So then? I don't know, I guess that's when the ice cream comes out. Not a good solution because then you stress out over the scales. I guess that's when I self-anesthetize playing video games.

J.K. Coi said...

Stress, OMG do I know what you're talking about. My summer hasn't been at all relaxing so far either. I'm hoping to change that, but we'll have to see. For me, unfortunately, the only thing that relieves my stress is getting my work DONE. Then I can put it aside and focus on something else, step by step, strategically clearing my plate clears my mind. I can't step away until the things I need to do are complete. In the process I'm very nervous, especially if I'm on deadline, but afterward there's nothing like knowing you have nothing left to do and can spend a few days reading or sunning out on the beach.

Thomma Lyn said...

I'm so sorry you're feeling stressed. ((((((((big hugs)))))))), my friend.

Things that help me de-stress: playing with the kitties, pumping iron, listening to music (whatever suits my mood at the time), and hiking in the woods -- it helps me to get outdoors, into nature.

I hope you're feeling better soon.

Anonymous said...

You know my mind races too. I start "beginners" yoga Saturday. I'll let you know how it works for me. I figure if it helps me relax, it'll help anyone. LOL. I just have to practice patience. I'm not good at that.

Nicholas said...


Julia Smith said...

Movies and music are good for me, as well as walking. Or going out in the garden. Or working with my photos - that really relaxes me. I'm visual. Basically, something that uses up energy and focuses a scrambled brain for a few hours.

But just telling yourself that everyone stresses out and it's simply a part of being human helps. It does for me.

Christine d'Abo said...

I've been listening to a lot of music recently to help me cope (I'm like Susan in that I love loud hard rock/heavy metal) and it's been helping. I've also had to back down on other things, but I hope to get back into them soon.

And of course, having great friends to chat with is always a huge help. :)


Wylie Kinson said...

JK - you've really hit on something important and that's actually getting the work done!
When I've got so much on my plate, I get paralysed just staring at it all and nothing happens!

Thanks EVERYONE for sharing your methods and ideas. I'm going to use some of you suggestions and keep the others on hold just-in-case :)